National Baklava Day
Apparently, today is National Baklava Day, and immediately I thought of my Turkish friend, with his navy sports car, thick accent, and soccer trophies, and how, in exchange for helping him write and edit his college essays, he would buy me baklava and hot chocolate. In the winter we’d trudge through the snow to a coffee shop and huddle over dessert and Composition, Philosophy, and History papers. I would make fun of his English and comma splices, how he always left out tiny, though important, words like “of” and “the,” and he would make fun of the way I dramatically sang along to the radio. “You know the words to every American song,” he said.
Once, while proofreading one of his personal essays, I learned both his parents died before he was even 20 years old, and almost immediately after, he won the Green Card lottery and moved to America. A few years later, he applied for the local community college and spent all his time in the library where I worked to learn English. That’s when he met me. I was stacking the bookshelves when he came over and asked me what my name and major was. “When you said you were an English major,” he later told me, “I knew I was truly lucky.”
We aren’t friends anymore because one day he decided he wanted everything from me or nothing at all.
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Megan Portorreal is a professional writer, editor, and creative in the New York City area. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books, writing about her life, and playing video games.